Friday, September 26, 2008

Check it out!

On the right you'll see a banner for a movie called "Fireproof"!
This movie looks incredible!
Check out the trailer by clicking on the banner.

Monday, September 22, 2008


I'm reading a book about the Proverbs 31 woman. I've been trying, in as many ways as possible, to study this woman of God. I want to be her. I have a VERY long way to go. As I was reading this book called "Discovering the Treasure of a Godly Woman: Proverbs 31" I came across something the author said that really hit me hard. It's in the chapter on verse 12, "A Godly Woman is Good".

Remember that what you are at home is what you are!
Practice goodness under your own roof first. Be sure your loved ones receive the first fruits of your goodness...all day long...every day...all the days of your life!
(bold is my emphasis)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Today We Commemorate St. Sophia and Her Daughters

The Holy Martyrs Saint Sophia and her Daughters Faith, Hope and Love were born in Italy. Their mother was a pious Christian widow who named her daughters for the three Christian virtues. Faith was twelve, Hope was ten, and Love was nine. St Sophia raised them in the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. St Sophia and her daughters did not hide their faith in Christ, but openly confessed it before everyone.

An official named Antiochus denounced them to the emperor Hadrian (117-138), who ordered that they be brought to Rome. Realizing that they would be taken before the emperor, the holy virgins prayed fervently to the Lord Jesus Christ, asking that He give them the strength not to fear torture and death. When the holy virgins and their mother came before the emperor, everyone present was amazed at their composure. They looked as though they had been brought to some happy festival, rather than to torture. Summoning each of the sisters in turn, Hadrian urged them to offer sacrifice to the goddess Artemis. The young girls remained unyielding.

Then the emperor ordered them to be tortured. They burned the holy virgins over an iron grating, then threw them into a red-hot oven, and finally into a cauldron with boiling tar, but the Lord preserved them.

The youngest child, Love, was tied to a wheel and they beat her with rods until her body was covered all over with bloody welts. After undergoing unspeakable torments, the holy virgins glorified their Heavenly Bridegroom and remained steadfast in the Faith.

They subjected St Sophia to another grievous torture: the mother was forced to watch the suffering of her daughters. She displayed adamant courage, and urged her daughters to endure their torments for the sake of the Heavenly Bridegroom. All three maidens were beheaded, and joyfully bent their necks beneath the sword.

In order to intensify St Sophia's inner suffering, the emperor permitted her to take the bodies of her daughters. She placed their remains in coffins and loaded them on a wagon. She drove beyond the city limits and reverently buried them on a high hill. St Sophia sat there by the graves of her daughters for three days, and finally she gave up her soul to the Lord. Even though she did not suffer for Christ in the flesh, she was not deprived of a martyr's crown. Instead, she suffered in her heart. Believers buried her body there beside her daughters.

The relics of the holy martyrs have rested at El'zasa, in the church of Esho since the year 777.
(Taken from the OCA website.)

When i was choosing a Patron Saint before my chrismation I read about many different Saints. I came to my decision of St. Sophia because of this story. I decided that I needed the example of St. Sophia and hopefully her prayers. She had to have been an amazing mother for her girls (at such young ages) to love God so much that they were willing to die. I wanted that example in my life. I pray that I can be half the mother she was in showing my children the Love of God.

Troparion - Tone 4

The Church celebrates and rejoices
In the feast of the three daughters: Faith, Hope, and Love
And their Mother Sophia, named for her wisdom:
For in them she gave birth to the three godly virtues.
Now they eternally behold their bridegroom, God the Word.
Let us rejoice spiritually in their memory and cry:
O our three Heavenly Protectors,
Establish, confirm and strengthen us
In Faith, Hope and Love.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I won!

Last week on Xenia Kathryn's blog she had a commenter appreciation contest. She took all the names of those who commented in a month period and entered into a contest.
I won!!!! Although she accidentally entered my name far too many times she still sent me a prize and drew another name to be fair. What a sweetheart! Thank you Xenia!

Here is what my goody package had in it when it came in the mail yesterday...

Homemade chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, homemade brownies, whole-bean coffee from The Coffee Cottage and a drawing of St. Paisius.

Monday, September 15, 2008

School Starts

I've been busy planning my year; changing this, doing that. I have finally finished all the decisions that needed to be made including co-ops, curriculum, extra-curricular activities and purchases. We started school on September 2nd, kind of. We are slowly, easing our way into a full schedule. Over the past 2 years of trying this and doing that, changing things and eliminating others, we've developed some bad habits. So our very first goal of this year is to focus on "habit". Developing good habits and discipline. As books arrive and new schedules are worked in we will tweak what is going to work or not. This is the first time we'll have everyone in extra-curricular activities. That alone is going to be very challenging, I don't really like it, but the children need to learn to swim.
The other very big change is that we joined a Homeschool Co-op. This co-op is through a school district. It is called Olympic Peninsula HomeConnections, the excursion group. Once a week we take a field trip with a group of other children and parents. Because it is with the school district and this school district apparently is very pro-homeschooling and are very generous, they give their families a stipend to use towards curriculum (NON-religious) and lessons of any kind. On top of that all field trips are included and we even (just started this year) get a gas stipend. We have a teacher on each field trip, she oversees the group and we are required to have this contact with her and each trimester we are required to turn in Student Learning Plan. It isn't like they tell us what to do while we school at home and she doesn't even really ask many questions but there is that accountability to someone who is going to ask you "what are going to study this year?" What kind of field trips? Here are some I know of so far.....
At least 12 trips are planned throughout the year to the Dungeness River Audubon Center.
This week we will go to the Puyallup Fair.
In February we will be going to see the Lion King at the Paramount Theatre.
I'll keep you posted throughout the year on what other adventures we go on.

In my next post I'll share the curriculum we'll use.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I was very blessed yesterday after reading Mka. Kelleylynn's blog post "All is Well". I was particularly awakened by this part....

Life without struggle is no life at all...for in these struggles we discover ourselves -- we discover that our Heavenly Father has not abandoned us but that we have abandoned Him for our own agendas, our own will and not His.

Thank you, Matushka.

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Natvity of the Most-Holy Theotokos, The Mother of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ

The Nativity of Our Most Holy Lady Theotokos and Ever Virgin Mary: The Most Holy Virgin Mary was born at a time when people had reached such a degree of moral decay that it seemed altogether impossible to restore them. People often said that God must come into the world to restore faith and not permit the ruin of mankind.

The Son of God chose to take on human nature for the salvation of mankind, and chose as His Mother the All-Pure Virgin Mary, who alone was worthy to give birth to the Source of purity and holiness.

The Nativity of Our Most Holy Lady Theotokos and Ever Virgin Mary is celebrated by the Church as a day of universal joy. Within the context of the Old and the New Testaments, the Most Blessed Virgin Mary was born on this radiant day, having been chosen before the ages by Divine Providence to bring about the Mystery of the Incarnation of the Word of God. She is revealed as the Mother of the Savior of the World, Our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Most Holy Virgin Mary was born in the small city of Galilee, Nazareth. Her parents were Righteous Joachim of the tribe of the Prophet-King David, and Anna from the tribe of the First Priest Aaron. The couple was without child, since St Anna was barren.

Having reached old age, Joachim and Anna did not lose hope in God's mercy. They had strong faith that for God everything is possible, and that He would be able to overcome the barrenness of Anna even in her old age, as He had once overcame the barrenness of Sarah, spouse of the Patriarch Abraham. Sts Joachim and Anna vowed to dedicate the child which the Lord might give them, to the service of God in the Temple.

Childlessness was considered among the Hebrew nation as a Divine punishment for sin, and therefore the righteous Sts Joachim and Anna had to endure abuse from their own countrymen. On one of the feastdays at the Temple in Jerusalem the elderly Joachim brought his sacrifice to offer to God, but the High Priest would not accept it, considering him to be unworthy since he was childless.

St Joachim in deep grief went into the wilderness, and there he prayed with tears to the Lord for a child. St Anna wept bitterly when she learned what had happened at the Jerusalem Temple. Never once did she complain against the Lord, but rather she prayed to ask God's mercy on her family.

The Lord fulfilled her petitions when the pious couple had attained to extreme old age and prepared themselves by virtuous life for a sublime calling: to be the parents of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, the future Mother of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Archangel Gabriel brought Joachim and Anna the joyous message that their prayers were heard by God, and of them would be born a most blessed daughter Mary, through Whom would come the Salvation of all the World.

The Most Holy Virgin Mary surpassed in purity and virtue not only all mankind, but also the angels. She was manifest as the living Temple of God, so the Church sings in its festal hymns: "the East Gate... bringing Christ into the world for the salvation of our souls" (2nd Stikhera on "Lord, I Have Cried", Tone 6).

The Nativity of the Theotokos marks the change of the times when the great and comforting promises of God for the salvation of the human race from slavery to the devil are about to be fulfilled. This event has brought to earth the grace of the Kingdom of God, a Kingdom of Truth, piety, virtue and everlasting life. The Theotokos is revealed to all of us by grace as a merciful Intercessor and Mother, to Whom we have recourse with filial devotion.

Troparion - Tone 4
Your Nativity, O Virgin, Has proclaimed joy to the whole universe! The Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, Has shone from You, O Theotokos! By annulling the curse, He bestowed a blessing. By destroying death, He has granted us eternal Life.